No. 4 Porterville beats No. 13 Hoover 65-0

To say the game was over after the first quarter would be a little harsh and presumptuous, because there was of course still three more quarters to play.

But with a 36-0 lead and the 13th-seed Patriots of Hoover (4-7) barely being able to set a toe in fourth-seed Porterville High School's half of the field, the game was essentially over.

The Panthers (7-4) posted their first shutout of the season with a 65-0 win in Friday's opening round game of the CIF Central Section Division IV Championship tournament at Jacob Rankin Stadium.

On eight drives in the first half alone, Porterville forced seven three-and-outs and allowed Hoover to cross midfield just once before the Patriots had to punt from the Panthers' 47-yard line. The only other time Hoover made it across midfield was when they recovered PHS quarterback Hector Nava Jr.'s fumble on Porterville's 41-yard line.

The Panthers' defensive backs shut down the Patriots' passing game, allowing Hoover's quarterback to complete just 5-of-13 passes in the first half while their line kept him and his running backs from gaining more than a handful of yards on each down.

So the old sentiment of defense wins games was definitely key to the Panthers' win but the offense was also explosive and unrelenting in putting up 65 points — 50 of them before the whistle blew for halftime.

Porterville scored on the first play of the game with Nava Jr. throwing a 78-yard touchdown to Isaiah Ellis, then Isaak Guzman forcing and recovering the fumble on the kickoff. With the ball back on Hoover's 40-yard line, the Panthers needed just six plays to set up a 6-yard touchdown pass to Javier Benevidez.

From there on, Porterville was merciless. They scored touchdowns on their next three drives with a 34-yard pass to Moses Andrade, as well as 42- and 30-yard touchdowns run by Ellis to take that 36-0 lead.

The scoring slowed down, somewhat, in the second quarter with Benevidez scoring on a 9-yard run and then Lisandro Martinez scoring his first touchdown of the season with a 55-yard run.

The defense got in on the scoring action on the first drive of the second half with Andrade intercepting Hoover's quarterback around midfield and running it back for his second touchdown of the game.

Porterville scored their final touchdown on a 75-yard run by backup quarterback Travis Tynes. On the play, Tynes got a bad snap but picked the ball up and ran it up the left side of the field for his first touchdown of the season.

On extra points, the Panthers converted 3-of-4 two-point conversions successfully while Nick Ward was 5-of-5 on PATs.

Porterville's attention now turns to fifth-seed Chavez (9-2) who defeated 12th-seed Morro Bay (3-8) 28-7 in their opening round game. The Panthers host Chavez next Friday at 7 p.m.

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